I’ve been closely involved in every election since 1998, as an increasingly senior political staffer and then as a media commentator. I can’t remember one that has given voters less real choice or had less to do with the real issues facing our country, none of which is going to be any closer to resolution by the result.
It’s a Labor-lite government versus a Liberal-left opposition; an unpopular prime minister against an unconvincing opposition leader; a government that says nothing really needs to change fighting an opposition that says the only thing that really needs to change is the prime minister; and two grey, unpersuasive blokes trading barbs, each in the hope he’ll be judged the lesser evil. …
This is an election about whether Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme prescriptions should be $12.50 or only $10 cheaper; how much further and faster we can reduce carbon dioxide emissions without any cost to any voter; and whether, on top of all the existing schemes to help homebuyers, low-income voters might benefit further from shared government equity in their homes.
On both sides it’s unquestioned that we have to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, that there’s no real problem with government debt skyrocketing towards $1 trillion and deficits for at least a decade, that there’s nothing that can or should be done about collapsing academic standards, and that there’s nothing more that can or should be done to bolster our military now, not decades away, despite China’s belligerence and US weakness. …
Then there are the Greens offering a more left-wing version of Labor; the teal independents offering Greens policy without the stigma of being formally part of the Greens; and sundry protest parties on the right, none of which has a coherent policy agenda.
The sanest voices — former Labor leader, now NSW One Nation backbencher, Mark Latham campaigning against politically correct schools; and former Nationals cabinet minister Matt Canavan campaigning against politically correct climate measures — are crying in the wilderness despite the fact they’re echoing ordinary Australians’ concerns. …
A re-elected Morrison government is unlikely to be a better government than the one we’ve had for the past term; while a victorious Albanese government is likely to be a lot more politically correct and leftist than it currently makes out. Hence the likelihood is that this election will push the whole polity further to the left.
John Howard used to describe the Liberal Party as socially conservative but economically liberal. At least under Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, the Labor Party was economically sensible and socially middle-of-the-road. But there’s not much of that left on either side. That explains why so many people, even if they’re still voting Coalition or Labor out of habit or loyalty, feel politically homeless.
Read it all.
It’s a tussle between two management teams, keeping philosophical differences mostly hidden because they are largely just going to do what the bureaucracy tells them to do.